Hello, and welcome to the newly resurrected ATG Hot Topics column! I’m tentatively taking the reins from the extremely talented Erin Gallagher. With any luck (and a lot of determination), this new iteration will hopefully carry on Erin’s legacy in the form of insightful and engaging commentary on information industry news and developments.
To begin with, I’d like to give you a brief overview of my background and interests, since that context invariably makes some topics especially eye-catching to me, and influences my responses to them.
Although I have been working in libraries for nearly half of my life, I am new to the role of “professional librarian.” Before completing my MLIS last fall, I shelved books and worked reference in a public library, ran Interlibrary Loan at a military college library, and dabbled in a range of other functions, such as assessment, graphic design, and project management. I am now happily working at an Ivy League law library, where my responsibilities revolve around electronic resources. Although the scope of my official interests is narrower than it has been in the past, I’m still very curious about how things like cataloging or acquisitions workflows intersect with, and impact, other facets of librarianship, such as instruction, reference, and liaison/outreach work (to name a few).
The motley patchwork of my experiences in staff and librarian roles, in public and academic libraries, and in very distinctive institutions, have led to some eclectic interests. I have a broad, interdisciplinary view of the trends and news that might impact information professionals, whether they are working in archives, libraries, publishing, or a related field like data science. The topics that tend to be especially interesting to me are:
- Professional development, mentorship, and cultivating healthy relationships between “paraprofessionals” and “professionals”
- Developments or practices that are gaining traction in other fields or industries that might have potential implications for information industries
- Leadership and organizational change
- Personalization and platform developments
- How libraries conceptualize and demonstrate their impact, especially in higher ed
- Practical guidance or advice that improves our day-to-day lives: project management, work journaling, dealing with the emotional exhaustion of a service profession
- Consortia or other models of inter-institutional collaboration
- User Experience and accessibility
What topics or shiny pieces of news typically snag your attention? What kinds of listserv messages do you read before deleting? 😉 Please comment or contact me with any feedback or requests!
Tom Gilson. Test Bio